Publishing every keystroke

I’ve been thinking lately about what makes up a draft,” and what should be publically available for other people to read. Every author will have a different idea of what’s acceptable for publication (and what publication” means), but I’m fascinated that more and more granular platforms appear.

It used to be, if you wanted to publish something you needed the permission of a printer, and likely a publishing house, which would cause a certain approach to quality, editing, etc. Today, You can put up any word in any quality you want for free, and the whole world can see it. You can delete it, replace it, cross it out, and pretty much anything you want with the word.

Now (as in recently) there are scripts you can run in Google Docs that will show you a replay of every keystroke. You’ve been able to record your screen for a while now, but this level of drafting-as-art is something I don’t see very many writers signing up for (except myself. I’ll probably do it. I love stuff like this).

When I read this article, the first thing I thought was, somebody out there would have probably paid a lot to see Hemmingway’s keystrokes.


March 6, 2015